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Old 01-27-2019, 12:06 PM   #1
hcobb
 
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Default Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

By ITL page 142 all wizards know of all spells, i.e.

"If a wizard makes visible hand motions or speaks aloud, another wizard who sees or hears will know what spells are being cast."

so why are they required to pass a 4/IQ roll to know of one spell?

I suggest rewording to a 4/IQ to theorize that the spell is being used, minus one die if the wizard actually knows the spell in question.
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Old 01-27-2019, 09:32 PM   #2
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

My presumption was always that different wizards can and do have slightly different outwards behavior when they cast the same spell, and that it's not very conspicuous. Reading the description in Wizard, the spellcasting seems mostly mental/psychic/internal, and since the spells can be cast without any gestures or sounds by someone who with enough mastery, it seems none of them are necessary for the spell - just helpful for the wizard.

So, it makes sense to me it would be tricky to tell what spell someone is casting. And 4/IQ isn't very hard considering how smart some wizards are.

However I do like your observation that wizards who know the same spell would have an easier time recognizing someone else casting it. I'd just tend to make the roll harder rather than easier, so maybe 4/IQ if you know the spell, 5/IQ if you don't.

(It also seems to me that probably the part about all wizards knowing of all spells is about a default assumed context where all the spells in ITL are commonly known by a well-established wizards' guild which educates all wizards. i.e. If all guilds do know all those spells, then it's reasonable that all of their students study what all the spells are. But a GM's setting might not have all those spells known, and might not have all wizards be educated that way.)
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Old 01-28-2019, 03:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

Evil Stevie has spoken, paraphrasing into my house rules.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:42 AM   #4
Steve Jackson
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

Yes. Good and sensible catch, Henry - thank you. I'll think about how that rule might be modded for the second printing. There are a lot more possibilities for drama and mystery if the current rule is changed. I'd like to make it more generous than "you recognize only spells you know," but there is no game definition of "common spells."

Suggestions, anyone?

I'll go over to the Kickstarter comments now and leave a pointer to this thread.
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Old 01-29-2019, 11:13 AM   #5
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

What about; 3d6 v IQ to recognise a spell you know. 4d6 to recognise one you don't. This has the benefit of simplicity. Yo could look at Spell IQ v the IQ of the person trying to recognise but I'm not sure it's worth the extra complexity.
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Old 01-29-2019, 11:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

An alternative to common spells would be spells in your "college" or whatever.

Which would work like this:

A non-wizard who observes an effect that could be produced by a spell that they know needs to roll 4/IQ to think that the effect might have been produced by that spell. If several different spells (Summon Wolf, Image, and Illusion say) could have produced that result then roll for each. Note this may mislead the observer into guessing what they know rather than the truth.

Subtract one die for wizards, but add a die if the wizard doesn't know that spell.

Add a die if the spell is of a higher IQ than the wizard's.

A wizard (or non-wizard who knows the spell) can guess exactly which spell is being cast if they are facing a caster who performs the full ritual for the spell in question within creation spell range of themselves at one more die added to the above. (Add another die if the 2 IQ down partial ritual is used, and with no chance if cast without ritual.)

If you know five or more spells in one college then you have a basic familiarity with all spells in that college:
You can learn a new spell in that college for only 400 XP (1200 XP for non-wizards who somehow know that many spells.)
And you subtract one die to recognize spells in that college.

If you know ten or more spells in one college then you have a advanced familiarity with all spells in that college:
You can learn a new spell in that college for only 300 XP (900 XP for non-wizards who somehow know that many spells.)
And you subtract two dice instead of one to recognize spells in that college.

If implemented then we will finally see wizard specialization.
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Old 01-29-2019, 11:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
What about; 3d6 v IQ to recognise a spell you know. 4d6 to recognise one you don't. This has the benefit of simplicity. Yo could look at Spell IQ v the IQ of the person trying to recognise but I'm not sure it's worth the extra complexity.
It sounds right for beginning characters but too easy for high-IQ wizards, to me. I think taking the IQ level of the spell into account makes a lot of sense because they are so much rarer. How well the caster knows the spell seems like it would make a big difference, too.

If I know a spell so well I barely have to do anything to cast it, then perhaps I can cast it while making other sounds/gestures to throw off someone trying to figure out what I'm casting, or even pretend to cast another spell. Or if someone knows I can cast some spells without gestures, I might cast those spells and make their gestures, to make them think I'm only pretending to cast those spells. :-)
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:28 PM   #8
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
It sounds right for beginning characters but too easy for high-IQ wizards, to me. I think taking the IQ level of the spell into account makes a lot of sense because they are so much rarer. How well the caster knows the spell seems like it would make a big difference, too.

If I know a spell so well I barely have to do anything to cast it, then perhaps I can cast it while making other sounds/gestures to throw off someone trying to figure out what I'm casting, or even pretend to cast another spell. Or if someone knows I can cast some spells without gestures, I might cast those spells and make their gestures, to make them think I'm only pretending to cast those spells. :-)
Absolutely. Since I don't play high level games with this system (as I don't think it's well suited to that) the simple method will work well. If you do have higher powered characters you'll proabably want more grit.
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Old 01-29-2019, 03:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Suggestions, anyone?
3d6 vs IQ if you know the spell
4d6 vs IQ if you've heard of the spell
5d6 vs IQ to make an educated guess (GM's discretion) if it's completely foreign
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Old 01-29-2019, 04:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

Two additional questions about unfamiliar spells, if you'll don't mind.

What happens when you succeed on Analyze Magic against a spell you've never heard of before?

and

How close do you have to be to get the half off of "once the spell has been used
in their presence" on page 144?
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